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Feb 15, 2013 6:00pm PST
to pick out in advance. the really big ones could wipe out humanity. >> nasa is currently studying about 9,000 of these near earth asteroids. about 1800 of them are fairly large and they are very particularly interesting to us. >> it's been a phenomenally successful program and no impact risk in the near future. >> reporter: we have sent a spacecraft to get a close look at an asteroid and now that one is getting a close-up look at us, scientists are seizing the moment. >> as it flies by we are going to use our radars to bounce radiowaves off this asteroid, watch it spin, look at the reflections and understand its size, shape and perhaps even a little bit about what it's made of. >> reporter: that's happening now. even as 2012da14 heads back into space. from the solar system bureau, i'm science editor brian hackney, kpix 5. >>> federal investigators are in mobile, alabama tonight investigating the cause of the fire that crippled that cruise ship. today pug boats pulled the carnival triumph to a shipyard for repairs. thousands of passengers cheer
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